Have you seen the CDC’s latest suggestions that essentially turn watching the Super Bowl into a private meditation session, during a hunger strike, in solitary confinement?
Well, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but after banning singing at Christmas, you had to expect some sort of “guidance” was coming from the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Their suggestions for wearing masks and respecting social distancing seem to be pretty obvious at this point. Smart, law-abiding Americans with a fair amount of common sense know that during a real pandemic that we are in the midst of, those are things that have become part of daily lives, not just when watching the Super Bowl with a few friends or family.
What turns some people off regarding the CDC’s proclamations is they don’t account for the fact that many Americans are capable of making smart decisions on their own. I don’t know of any “big” Super Bowl parties this year, and if there were some, I think avoiding them at all costs is what most people would do.
So, let’s take a look at a couple of the specific pieces of advice handed down by the CDC this week, with the intent of finding out if they make medical sense.
Dr. David Alessi, MD is a Cosmetic, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Specialist in Beverly Hills, California, the founder and director of the Alessi Institute for Facial Plastic Surgery, and with over 38 years of experience in the medical field, he is one of the most accomplished, respected and prestigious doctors in Southern California.
“There is good evidence to suggest that the virus is spread through aerosols,” Dr. Alessi told us. “The higher concentration of people in a closed space, the higher the amount of viral containing aerosol. COVID-19 infection tracking has clearly shown that large groups of people in a closed space are often the nidus for spread. There are no studies that have clearly proven that cheering or chanting are sources of breakouts. This goes for singing at Christmas. Also, I know of no study that shows groups of identical sizes will have a higher virus rate than groups that don’t drink. Breakouts traced to bars has more to do with how crowded they were and not the number of Buds imbibed.”
We asked Dr. Alessi’s opinion regarding how the CDC chooses to communicate their messaging. While they approach these decrees with good intentions, the headlines that come from them make them not only ineffective, but sometimes they become farcical.
“By the CDC coming out with inane suggestions that have not been proven weakens their impact in the eyes of the public,” Dr. Alessi said.
So, as you head out to enjoy the big game today, pack up an ample amount of common sense with the guacamole dip, Doritos Scoops, and 6-pack of beer. “Simply, avoid large groups in small, enclosed spaces,” Dr. Alessi suggested.
While there’s no guarantee Rob Gronkowski will adhere to the CDC suggestions of limiting his alcohol intake, not kissing random strangers, and refraining from shouting in large crowds at a Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ victory celebration if the Bucs beat the Chiefs today, you can.
“Common courtesy nowadays is this,” Dr. Alessi said. “Number one, wear a mask when walking around in public, and take the mask off if you are staying in place. Don’t be selfish and go out in public if you have been exposed to COVID or have a fever, cough, chills, diarrhea, trouble smelling or muscle aches.”
Finally, with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, you know the CDC is already working on their first draft of suggestions for this holiday for lovers.
Before that decree is delivered next week, Dr. Alessi has one practical bit of advice that can keep you in good health. “My advice,” Doctor Alessi told us, “if you have five or six significant others, don’t invite them all to the same Valentine’s dinner. This isn’t for COVID reasons. It would just be really stupid.”
Medical advice and relationship counsel! Well said. Enjoy the game.